We use our smartphone for private conversations, store our contacts and organise our meetings with it. The access to all this sensitive data is handled with the so-called permissions. It means, for example, that each app that requires the smartphone camera needs to get the corresponding permission first. Many of the apps, especially free ones, however, request permissions that are not necessary for their functionality. As such, for example, a weather app might request access to one’s contact list, or a QR-code scanner can send private photos to some server.
What are the advantages of Privacy Friendly Apps?
Privacy Friendly Apps do not contain any kind of advertisement or tracking mechanisms. So user data is neither recorded nor sent to any third party.
All source codes of Privacy Friendly Apps are publicly available in the internet on the github platform (Link to github.com). So anybody could proof that the software solely has the properties mentioned in the description. The property is called Open Source and the choosen Open Source lisense (GPLv3) allows anybody to refine or enhance the applications as long as they are published under the same lisense.
Summary: All Privacy Friendly Apps:
- are Open Source (GPLv3) and their source code can be viewed an Github by anybody
- used minimal permissions
- do not neither tracking mechanisms nor advertisement
Besides the Google Playstore the Privacy Friendly Apps are available in the F-Droid Store as well. F-Droid is an alternative app store for Android applications only containing applications which are Open Source. The source code of any F-Droid application is publicly available. Whenever possible F-Droid compiles the application from the code by itsself. So it is ensured that the application actually belongs to the source code. During this procedure F-Droid checks the application regarding security issues (e.g. bugs) and privacy issues (e.g. tracking mechanisms).
F-Droid can be used without an extra account, it does not store any user data. Unfortunately, it is not available in the Google PlayStore, so it has to be installed by the user manually. To do so the store application can be downloaded under f-droid.org . Before installation it must be assured that the installation of software from unknown sources is allowed on the smartphone. This can be done under Settings > Security
More information can be found on the web sites of the corresponding app: